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Magazines | Education 2011-05-27 12:00:00
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    anthem The magazine of Ambrose University College SPRING 2011 Pastoral Ministry A Time to Prepare

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    Alumnus Rev. Stuart Williams (cover) challenged the youth gathered at LYC 2011 with the theme En Route. Many of them will study at Ambrose joining Stuart and hundreds of Ambrose graduates in ministry. What will ministry look like and how will they prepare? In this issue of Anthem we seek to answer these questions. Inside 5 Theology for Ministry Today Arch Wong, The Dean of Theology, describes the way that our changing world is impacting theological education. 6 Ministry on the Ground Four Ambrose alumni describe the challenges and joys of ministry in Whitehorse, Toronto, Edmonton, and Caledonia. 8 Getting Ready Ambrose Theology students Richard Sampang and Shelley Potts unpack their educational experience at Ambrose and future dreams for ministry. 9 The Future of Evangelicalism In an interview, author and teacher David Fitch explains his perspective on where the Evangelical movement is heading. 11 A Look Back at LYC Student Kalie Eeles, a member of the Legacy Youth Conference (LYC) Central Planning Team, reflects on a weekend of transformation. 2 Editorial 3 Academic News 10 Books 12 Educational Travel 14 Anthem Extras 16 Lions Athletics 18 Family Ties Spring 2011 anthem 1

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    anthem The magazine of Ambrose University College Spring 2011 PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE EDITOR Howard Wilson CHANCELLOR AND ACTING VP EXTERNAL RELATIONS Riley Coulter DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AND EDITOR Kim Follis DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING Wes Campbell EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT AND ASSISTANT EDITOR Elly Wick COPY EDITOR Kathryn Olson DESIGNER George Toth LAYOUT Verge Design PHOTOGRAPHY Erich Wong Daniel Yu PRINTER Rhino Pronto Ambrose University College 150 Ambrose Circle SW, Calgary, AB T3H 0L5 General Inquiries 403.410.2000 Enrolment 800.461.1222 Website www.ambrose.edu Publication Agreement Number 40063422 Anthem is published two times per year by the External Relations Department at Ambrose University College and sent to alumni, friends, and stakeholders. Ambrose is a Christian university college accredited by the Campus Alberta Quality Council, the Association for Biblical Higher Education and the Association of Theological Schools. Ambrose is the official denominational school of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada and The Church of the Nazarene Canada. It serves over 650 students representing many denominations in arts & science, education, undergraduate ministry and seminary programs. Donate to Ambrose at www.ambrose.edu/donate. Spring 2011 anthem 2 Partners in Ministry with the Local Church Many [students] tell me that their experience at Ambrose was transformational in preparing them for their current ministry. Howard Wilson President One of the real joys of my work in the past two years as President of Ambrose has been visiting the churches in our Nazarene and Christian & Missionary Alliance constituencies. I've been in churches from Victoria to Charlottetown and dozens of places in between, and have observed our graduates in action as pastors, missionaries, and a wide variety of other leadership roles. And, the local church is often where I encounter our graduates who are working in the marketplace during the week. We're proud of the way they are putting their Ambrose education to use serving Christ and they're proud of their Ambrose training. Many tell me that their experience at Ambrose was transformational in preparing them for their current ministry. Sometimes it was the material they learned in class, but other times it was the personal attention from a professor or the character development from a student leadership experience that made a difference. Each year denominational officials visit Ambrose to interview our upcoming graduates for ministry positions. At the exit interviews they tell me that they are impressed with our students, and see places where they will be effective in service in local congregations or on the mission field. We try to be responsive, too, when they tell us some of the new skills and knowledge that our graduates should have to be effective in our ever-changing world. At Ambrose, our motto is "Ambrose is all about Jesus, and all about students." We believe that the bride of Christ is the local church, and that part of our role in the divine economy is to prepare servant leaders for that church. I strongly encourage our students to stay involved with a local church while they are at Ambrose. While we want to play a significant role in their spiritual development through the integration of faith and learning in the classroom, and through chapel and small groups, it is only in the local church that all the gifts and graces are present. Almost all of our students have a strong connection to their congregation. Their church is their spiritual home. I would ask all of our churches to look at the young men and women in their midst, and to identify ones who may be ministry leaders some day and encourage them to consider Ambrose.

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    Assistant Professor of Sociology Joel Thiessen Earns PhD Joel Thiessen, Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Behavioural Science Program at Ambrose, earned his PhD in Sociology from the University of Waterloo in January, 2011. His dissertation is titled Active and Marginal Religious Affiliates in Canada: Describing the Difference and the Difference it Makes. His dissertation is based on fortytwo in-depth interviews with active religious affiliates (those who identify with a religious group and attend religious services nearly every week) and marginal religious affiliates (those who identify with a religious group and attend religious services primarily for religious holidays and rites of passage). With the goal of improving our understanding of how individuals subjectively understand their religious involvements, Dr Thiessen explored questions about what explains higher and lower levels of religious involvement, whether we might expect marginal affiliates to eventually become active affiliates, and how we should evaluate the degree of religiosity or secularity in Canada. Dr Thiessen argues that we can explain different levels of religious involvement among active and marginal affiliates by looking to their different experiences with the supernatural or with their local congregation, and the social influences that either encourage or discourage involvement in a religious group. With respect to whether we should anticipate marginal affiliates becoming active affiliates, marginal affiliates appear content with their current levels of religiosity and regardless of changes to the supply of religion in Canada (e.g., better music or more relevant preaching), most show little desire to pursue more involvement in a church. This finding, combined with the heightened cultural influence of individualism and relativism (consequences of a plural and diverse society) on people's religious attitudes and behaviours, and the subsequent growing percentage of Canadians who claim to have "no religion" (especially among Canadian teens) leads Dr Thiessen to conclude that it is likely that we will witness continued secularization at the individual level in Canada. More about Dr Thiessen's research can be found online on his Ambrose faculty biography page. Dr Thiessen graduated from Ambrose's Behavioural Science Program and completed both his Masters and PhD work at the University of Waterloo. He returned to Ambrose as a faculty member in 2008. Joel Thiessen is among a growing group of Ambrose alumni who are going on to distinguish themselves in graduate programs at universities across Canada and around the world. The Ambrose community congratulates Dr Thiessen on his achievement and is proud to count him as part of our Faculty. ACADEMIC news Ambrose Signs Education Agreement with Province of Alberta On Tuesday, February 2, Ambrose President Howard Wilson, Board Chair Alex Baum, and Dr Bernie Potvin, Associate Professor and Chair, Education, signed an historic and important Memorandum of Agreement with Alberta's Minister of Education, Dave Hancock. Under the Agreement, successful Ambrose education students recommended to the Minister by Ambrose are deemed to have met the academic requirements for an Interim Professional Certificate from the Province. The Agreement attests to our ability to prepare teachers who can give evidence of competencies indicated in the knowledge, skills, and attributes identified in the Teaching Quality Standards. In a symbolic way as well as a real way, this agreement ratifies the trust placed in us by Alberta Education, through the Campus Alberta Quality Council to offer the excellent degree that we promised to offer, that was approved by the Minister of Advanced Education & Technology in January 2010. We will work closely with the Professional Standards Branch of Alberta Education to ensure that our graduates indeed meet all certification requirements in Alberta and other provinces. As a result of this agreement, Dr Bernie Potvin will sit on the Alberta Council of Deans of Education. This council serves an important function in Alberta, to ensure that all graduates have the very best teacher education program. At the signing ceremony, which was also attended by representatives of seven other Education degree-granting institutions from the province, the Minister of Education spoke about the importance of the agreement and noted that such an agreement is unique in Canada. No other province has a memorandum of agreement Spring 2011 anthem 3

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    ACADEMIC news between a ministry of education and teacher development programs. Howard Wilson spoke at the signing to affirm our commitment at Ambrose to be full partners and to fulfill that commitment by offering the best teacher education program possible in order to meet the needs of Alberta's young people. The signing ceremony was indeed an historic and important event for Ambrose. New Faculty Appointments Dr Lynn Davis, BA, BEd, MSc, PhD, RPsych, will start as Associate Professor of Psychology on July 1, 2011. Dr Davis has worked in the education system as teacher, school psychologist, and counsellor, and has also worked in mental health and counselling fields. She is a registered psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists. Dr Davis' teaching and research are focused on special needs, learning and development, mental health, Spring 2011 anthem 4 narrative, and online learning. Areas of speciality in which Dr Davis has been involved include working with children, adolescents and their families with a variety of presentations such as school related problems, anxiety, and depression. Dr Davis lives on an acreage and raises horses. Dr David Peat, BEd, MEd, PhD, will join the Education Program as Associate Professor of Education on August 1, 2011. He has been involved in the fields of education, rehabilitation, and health in various capacities since 1972. Responsibilities within school settings have included teaching in a number of subjects. He has also served as school psychologist, school administrator, district level Coordinator of Special Services, Associate Superintendent of Schools, and Executive Director of Research & Innovation for Rocky View Schools, Airdrie, Alberta. Internationally, he has worked extensively in the Middle East and support xerox.ca 1-800-ASK-XEROX Xerox wholeheartedly supports Ambrose University College © 2009 Xerox Corporation. All rights reserved. Xerox® and the sphere of connectivity design are trademarks of Xerox Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Xerox Canada Ltd. is the licensee of all trademarks. Other company names used herein are trademarks of their respective owners. Asia in schools, university, government and mental health settings. Randy Poon, BComm, MBA, PhD (ABD), will start as Associate Professor of Business Administration on August 1, 2011. For the past 18 years, Randy has worked for a variety of federal departments in Ottawa including the Department of Finance, Treasury Board Secretariat, Industry Canada, and, most recently in an executive capacity, the Department of Canadian Heritage. He also brings to the faculty a wide range of experience as a management consultant, lay pastor, and staff member with Campus Crusade for Christ. Randy enjoys running and all things digital, and is especially an avid Apple fan. As a native Calgarian, the move to Ambrose represents a homecoming for Randy and his family as they eagerly look forward to reconnecting with friends, both new and old, as well as becoming a part of the Ambrose community. Ambrose Seminary Announces Chinese Language Degree Programs In light of the need for religious leadership for the Chinese churches in Canada, Ambrose Seminary is offering the Master of Divinity (MDiv), the Master of Arts in Leadership and Ministry (MALM), the Diploma in Leadership and Ministry, and the Certificate in Chinese Ministries in the Chinese language in partnership with the Canadian Chinese Alliance Churches Association (CCACA) and the Association of Canadian Chinese Theological Education (ACCTE). This partnership establishes the Canadian Chinese School of Theology at Ambrose Seminary (CCSTAS). The main language of tuition will be Mandarin, complemented by Cantonese or English. As with all Ambrose Seminary degrees, these degrees are fully accredited by The Association of Theological Schools (ATS). For more information on any of these programs, please contact Patricia Tam at 403.410.2000, ext. 8914, or ptam@ambrose.edu

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    Arch CK Wong, PhD What does it take to prepare women and men for pastoral ministry today? It is important to understand what is happening in the North American religious landscape and the implications for theological education. Changes in church attendance Church attendance has changed significantly. In 1945, 65% of Canadian adults attended religious services regularly. Today, 25% of Canadian adults regularly attend religious services and 66% hardly ever or never attend religious services. Further, 16% of Canadian adults claim to have "no religion" compared to 1% in 1971. Data on church attendance suggest that regular attendees are attending less regularly. Even allowing for this decline in regular attendance, Canada still has one of the highest percentages of church attendance. Changes in the centre of Christianity Studies indicate that more than 20% of all Christians live in Sub-Saharan Africa. The number of believers in this geographical area has grown to almost 500 million, a growth of seventy-fold in the twentieth century. The growing influence of the Global South - defined as those countries that are not considered to be developed nations, mostly located in the Southern Hemisphere - is having significant impact on religious life, especially to those church bodies that have significant membership outside of North America. Thus, Christianity is finding new cultural homes and as a result Christian practices are being reinvented and beliefs take on a different form. As Daniel Aleshire, Executive FACULTY profile Theological Education for Ministry Today Pastors need to be able to deal with the questions their own church members will have about other religions. Director of The Association of Theological Schools, notes, "North American Christianity will be more influenced by Christianity in other parts of the world than worldwide Christianity will be influenced by North America." Changes in religious complexity When I lived in Toronto I noticed that "the world was at my doorstep." I find this more and more as I live in Calgary - people from different parts of the world immigrating to Canada and in so doing creating an increase in religious pluralism. But we need to be a bit careful here of the background of new Canadians. The fact is that 23% of immigrants come as Roman Catholics, followed by 21% who are "not religious," followed by 15% who identify themselves as Muslim. The process of globalization has brought those with no religion into close proximity with multiple religions, which at times can bring about religious and social complexities. What do these changes mean for preparation for pastoral ministry and what are the implications for theological education? Preparing people for ministry will mean training that involves ministering in an increasingly multi-faith context. Pastors will need to be educated so that they can call their own congregations to be faithful to Scripture and at the same time not alienate members of non-Christian religious communities nor nurture religious intolerance. Pastors need to be able to deal with the questions their own church members will have about other religions. The Christian story is no longer the grand narrative and the outcome is that we live in a culture with no Christian memory. It seems that the most significant group that we ought to be attentive to is the growing "no religion" category. This means that pastors have to minister in a setting where there is really no religious preference and that they will have to learn to relate the Christian story to people who have no religious interest or commitment. Again Daniel Aleshire asks this, "What curricular support will prepare future leaders to serve as advocates for faith in a religiously neutral culture rather than as chaplains of faith that was privileged by culture?" Theological education needs to pay closer attention to the knowledge and wisdom of practitioners, such as pastors. In the past, there were more pastors than academics in the theological education enterprise. Nowadays, this is reversed. I do not think that this is an either/or but more of a both/and situation. We need both the wisdom from the academy and wisdom that comes from pastoral work. In today's world of theological education that prepares people for ministry this needs to be done in a flexible way that considers the learner: from traditional 13 week courses to other delivery formats such as on-line, weeklong, weekends, and evening options. Dr Wong is Dean of Theology at Ambrose University College. *I want to thank my colleague Dr Joel Thiessen for his assistance with some of the statistical data. Spring 2011 anthem 5

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    ALUMNI profile Brian Buhler, who graduated from Ambrose (CBC '79) is Lead Pastor of Pacific Community Church in Cloverdale, British Columbia. In February he was on the Ambrose campus teaching a course on preaching entitled Preaching Christ: Reclaiming Preaching as the Christ Event. Here is Brian's response to the question, "How is preaching changing?" Personally, the biggest change in my preaching is that I try to preach Christ with every sermon. With every text I ask, "Where's the good news?" If my sermon would succeed in a Jewish synagogue, I know I've failed miserably! I am more sensitive toward my propensity toward moralism or "good advice." I try to hold Spring 2011 anthem 6 Brian Buhler seeks to lead his congregation into an Emmaus Road encounter with Jesus. Brian Buhler Brings Preaching Experience to the Classroom the Scripture in one hand and point to Jesus with the other. Our new reformers have brought a lot to the table to stimulate Christo-centric preaching. I've also observed a shift towards less dogmatism on non-essentials and more open-handedness. (There are some unfortunate exceptions.) I think we're becoming more open to the possibility that there could be two or three interpretations of a challenging passage. I've become more "catholic" in that I try to borrow from 2000 years of church theology. I see our Alliance tradition as a tiny leaf clinging to a branch of a very large tree. I want our congregation to benefit from the whole trunk. The biggest shift for me as a pastor in the last five years has been in relation to the pulpit's proximity to the table. My sacramental journey has led me and our congregation to a weekly Eucharistic encounter. Though it's still a huge mystery, I believe heaven and earth overlap when his people gather together for baptism and Communion. My inspiration is the Emmaus Road experience: burning hearts through Christ-centered exposition and opened eyes through the breaking of bread. I often pray, "Lord Jesus, by your Spirit make this service an Emmaus encounter." If it is, I know that genuine mission will be the result, "It's true! The Lord has risen!" Blooming Where They are Planted Ambrose alumni serve the Kingdom in many different ways, but a significant number of them serve in the local church. However, churches come in many shapes and sizes and, while there are certain facets of church life that are common to all, some settings bring their own unique challenges and rewards. Megan Polowski graduated from Ambrose (NUC) in 2004 and has been serving in the Whitehorse Church of the Nazarene, Yukon, since graduation. With an overall congregation of around 70, this is a small church in a smaller community (Whitehorse is home to slightly less than 27,000 people) that experiences many of the disadvantages of the far north. Megan works primarily with the youth in the church and has seen the group grow from three members to fifteen in recent years. She describes many of the teens that attend the group as coming with "...broken hearts, broken families, broken lives, or a wounded combination of all three....These teens desire to be free from their vices and brokenness, but often do not possess the tools to become free." While working with these teens is extremely rewarding, it is not an "easy" task.

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    Being located in Whitehorse makes connecting with other Nazarene youth groups a significant logistical challenge. Travelling to a youth retreat in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, for example, necessitated a 32 hour drive, something a youth pastor in an urban area wouldn't even need to consider undertaking as there would be many other youth groups to connect with in their local area. Even though Megan sometimes finds that working and living in the north can be isolating, she is grateful for the very caring and supportive church family that she has around her. In contrast to Whitehorse, Toronto is a city of over 2,500,000. Tim Heereabout, Lead Planter at Montage Church in the city, and a 2002 graduate of Ambrose (NUC) describes the city as having a "...strained relationship with faith, church and God." One of the questions the church is often faced with is the "So what?" question: "How does Christianity actually improve my world?" To try to answer that question the church serves the city by partnering with charities that help to raise awareness of how to make Toronto a better place. As Tim sees it, "Leaders need to lead by example. If the church is to serve then leaders need to serve first," and this is the rationale behind the partnerships. By not coming to the community with "church" - an institution that many people think has no meaning - the church has been able to bring together believers with those who are not yet following Christ. That provides opportunities for church members to share their faith, and for those who do not yet have a relationship with Christ the opportunity to move closer to Jesus by serving and asking questions. South Edmonton Alliance Church, pastored by Ambrose alumnus Genghis Chan, has outgrown its current facility but is in the process of developing a welcome centre with church expression off-site at another campus that is just five minutes away from the church. With more resources the church is more able to embrace the vision of reaching out to serve the community. The neighbourhood that the church is in is very culturally diverse and home to many new Canadians. This location affords the church the opportunity to serve those who are new to the city, and often new to Canada, in a way that is nonthreatening but still allows opportunities to share Christ. Genghis graduated from Ambrose (CTS) in 1993 and has now been serving as an Alliance Pastor for almost 18 years. He still thinks of Ambrose as "his school," teaching as an adjunct and playing an active role in the Canadian Chinese School of Theology at Ambrose Seminary. Steve Kerr, an Ambrose Seminary graduate (CTS '93), as Senior Pastor of Gateway Church in Caledonia, Ontario, has a congregation of close to 500 each weekend, and is overseeing two church planting efforts in nearby Brantford and Hamilton. The economic decline experienced by the area in 2008-09 has impacted the expansion but, rather than see this as a negative, Gateway used the Our company is committed to excellence, investing in the most advanced technology and talented people in the industry. For outstanding print and an exceptional customer service experience that will help to power your business forward. certified ALUMNI profile opportunity to instead become a fullservice church hoping to be known more in the community for generosity in the areas of compassion ministry rather than "church." The location means that there is more opportunity for Kerr to interact with community members on a more personal level, with home visits, rather than just through church-based programs as can often be the necessary norm in larger urban areas. Whatever the context, whether urban or rural, affluent or poor, isolated or surrounded by millions of people, every Ambrose alumnus serving in a church setting - and elsewhere - faces the challenge of bringing Christ to a population that is increasingly diverse and less inclined to interact with the church. However, they also experience the joys of serving God where He has placed them. We give thanks for every one of our alumni. Victoria | Vancouver | Calgary | Edmonton | www.rhinoprintsolutions.com | 403.291.0405 Spring 2011 anthem 7

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    STUDENT profile Practical and Enriching Students on Their Theological Education Theology students Richard Sampang and Shelley Potts reflect on how their experiences at Ambrose are preparing them for ministry. Our Bachelor of Theology and Bachelor of Ministry programs are designed to prepare students to serve as committed, competent, and relevant leaders. By combining classroom teaching and field education, the program gives students the theological and practical tools they need to succeed in ministry. Second year youth ministry student Richard Sampang calls his path to Ambrose "a total God thing." Although he initially had a negative perception of "Bible College," he felt God calling him to pursue an education in pastoral ministry as he served in his church's youth group. During a tour of the Ambrose facilities, God began to open Richard's heart towards getting a theological education, and after that, Richard says, "everything began falling into place including my acceptance, finances, and classes. As soon as I felt peace about attending Ambrose, I knew it was the right place for me." British Columbia native Shelley Potts, who is now in her second year in Spring 2011 anthem 8 the worship arts program at Ambrose, had a similar experience. Although she had planned to attend Trinity Western University to get a business degree, God had other plans for her. According to Shelley, the road to Ambrose was a lesson in "surrendering to God's plan." She finds it hard to be away from home, but knows that she is where she is supposed to be. "Ambrose is where God is turning me into the leader He wants me to be." Both students have found their experiences in the classroom to be practical and enriching. While Richard admits that it is humbling to realize how little he knows about ministry, he says that "Ambrose is an environment that accepts you as a learner. The professors are not distant, but personable and relatable people who not only teach you, but walk with you." Shelley agrees by adding that at Ambrose, "the professors are worship leaders, not necessarily in music, but in how they teach and pour into the next generation of leaders." Although she finds her classes on theology, hermeneutics - and especially preaching - to be challenging and stretching, she knows that they are creating a solid foundation for her future ministry. Their learning experiences are not confined to the classroom. The requirement for students to do a practicum in addition to course work allows students to get hands-on experience in ministry. Richard's work with his church's youth group has given him a realistic view of ministry. "I've seen that you have to be ready to make service your life and have it affect every part of you," he explains. Similarly, her work with the Ambrose worship team and her practicum at Westside King's Church (near Ambrose) has reminded Shelley that worship is a lifestyle. Whether she is singing on stage, sitting in the sound booth, or setting up chairs for chapel, Shelley sees all acts of service as worship. "Whenever you use your gifts to give glory back to God," she says, "you are creating an atmosphere of worship." What is next for these students? While Shelley can see herself organizing major worship conferences for large churches like Hillsong, she asserts that "God has got something incredible for me - whether it is big or small. I'll go wherever He wants me to go." Richard hopes that his upcoming trip to the Philippines as part of the OnSite program will give him some direction for the future: "All I've ever known is serving in the Western world. I'm listening for God's call to see if he wants me to work overseas or at home." When asked what advice they would give to future Ambrose students interested in pastoral ministry, Richard says, "Get involved! Take what you learn in the classroom and apply it in a practical way." For Shelly it is, "Go for something you love, because God put it in your heart for a reason."

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